Week 2 - Spring practices continue

Ross has pressure of success, staying healthy

Counting down to the spring game, Nebraska hit the second week of spring practice amidst a perfect climate within memorial stadium. Weather wasn't the issue at any point of spring practices, though. Rather, it was if Nebraska could weather the injury bug for just a little over a week more.

When running back Brandon Jackson went down with a shoulder injury, that brought the lack of depth of running back to light. And, with Cory Ross hardly ever healthy at any point during last season, there was an air of caution that you might expect from this point of practices on.

 

To a degree, that's accurate as Ross was never part of the much anticipated one-on-one call-out drills, but that's about where the caution stopped. "The guys still have to play," running backs coach Randy Jordan said. "Yeah, we're going to be smart about it and not push things, but the spring is to see where we are and what we have left to do."

 

The news at running back hasn't been much better throughout the spring, Marque McCray, moved over from wide receiver and for most of the spring, hobbled with a slight ankle injury.

 

That leaves Ross to be assisted by walk-on running back Thomas Lawson, but Jordan has been pleased with Lawson's progress, especially in regards to the fact that Lawson has been working as both a fullback and running back up to this point. "He's doing a heck of a job," Jordan said of Lawson. "He's an extremely hard worker. He will not let anyone outwork him."

 

"He played tailback in high school and you can see some of the stuff that he's doing. He just has to continue to get better."

 

"When someone goes down, that opens up an opportunity for someone else and he's taking advantage of it."

 

In the wake of Jackson going down and McCray struggling with some minor health issues, Lawson's presence has been a bonus for Jordan, but there's three more bonuses coming in the future.

 

Marlon Lucky, Leon Jackson and Cody Glenn are all hopeful stars for their futures at Nebraska, but their futures could come far quicker than even they might have assumed. As Jordan said, though the depth chart will be what it is come Fall, he makes sure that he's the only one really paying attention. "That's what I tell my guys, don't get caught up in first, second or third string," he said. "I don't believe in that."

 

"I believe in guys coming in and doing their job. If you do that, we'll be productive."

 

The running backs, because of their lack of depth are getting some headlines, but the quarterbacks are getting some, even though, technically, that's probably the deepest position on the field. If the repetitions each get during practice indicates who is where on the depth chart, though, this would still appear to be a two-man race.

 

Not since spring practice has arrived has Joe Dailey or Zac Taylor gotten noticeably more reps than the other and for the third spot, redshirt freshman Joe Ganz seems to be separating himself from the rest of the pack for that number three spot on the depth chart.

 

And, the depth chart will continue to be an issue, even long after spring, because positions like cornerback and wide receiver are likely to change, possibly even dramatically when players like Zac Bowman, Bryan Wilson, Wallace Franklin and others arrive in mid to late summer.

 

Nebraska will resume practice on Wednesday, a day that head coach Bill Callahan calls the most physical practice day of the week and the team is expected to run the one-on-one drill again along with the Oklahoma drill and possibly even some limited time in live scrimmage.

 

NOTES:

 

-                      Offensive lineman Lydon Murtha appears to be back to full speed, practicing the entire session today. Murtha will be competing against Chris Patrick and Seppo Evwaraye for that starting spot at left tackle.

 

-                      Omaha mayor, Mike Fahey was in attendance today along with athletic director, Steve Pederson. Fahey was given a jersey following a speech he gave to the team prior to practice.

 

-                      In an epic battle in the one-on-one call-out drill, starting kicker, David Dyches faced off against back up kicker, Eric Lueshen. Lueshen was victorious.

 

Don't forget to check out the RED ZONE as from practice today, we have video interviews with cornerback – Titus Brothers and for his first video interview done while he's been at Nebraska, our own Justin Stoller goes one on one with starting right tackle – Cornealius Thomas-Fuamatu.  

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